An Indian mother hanged herself after village elders punished her family for her suspected extra-marital romance with a lower-caste man.
The 25-year-old, who had four children, died as dozens of villagers gathered outside her house in central Madhya Pradesh for a party the council had ordered her family to host as a punishment.
She was found ‘guilty’ of having a relationship with a man from the lowest Dalit caste last month. The unnamed woman was ordered to host the drinking party, fined 5,000 rupees and told to attend a local temple to atone for her ‘sins’, police confirmed.
The council had earlier sanctioned a social boycott of the family but changed the penalty after the woman’s family pleaded before the village elders.
Nobody has been arrested over her death so far, he added. Village elders exert enormous influence over rural life, particularly in northern India where they act as arbitrators for millions of poor villagers who do not have access to legal recourse.